Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011


The trees whisper, the mist thickens and the stone is slick and cold. Sharpen your knives now and bring forth the sacrifice.

Arun, druid

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tattle Tale: Hot and Cold

Hot blooded does as hot blooded will. Cold blooded follows the same edict. But, friend, hot and cold cannot ever sit in the same hole together.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Djinn by Poppet: Review

Djinn by Poppet

Poppet has an amazing imagination, but more than that she has the strength of plot and characters in her work...and I’ll tell you how I know this. I could not read Djinn in one sitting (or at most two as I usually do when reading to review a book), because life got a bit hectic. When I returned, however, I discovered I had not lost my place in the story because Poppet’s characters stayed with me and were waiting for me to continue the journey! No problem with plot either; I got right back into it.

I recommend that you, reader, go to it in one or two sittings, because then you’ll get the entire vivid experience, the heart thumps and the ‘oooh’s’! You’ll love and hate the genie in a book, never quite knowing whether to trust it or not...until all is revealed. And that is as much as I’ll reveal here: grab your copy today!
Available here:

Something Seen: Baboons

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Updates in progress...

Hi, it's me! I'm currently updating this space, so bear with odd sizes and gadgets until I like it enough to leave it as is.
Thanks! :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Flash Friday: about a village

House of Valla: chapter 2

The San village was akin to all clan villages in that it was entirely enclosed with one main gate as access. The enclosure was a huge wooden fence constructed of logs as thick as a man’s waist and towered three times the height of an average person. Other villages used man-made and natural barriers- cliff-faces, mountains, a ravine- but whatever it was, all villages were enclosed. For generations the gates had nevertheless stood open. The paranoia after Drasso had gradually ceased. Within, each family maintained abodes, from where they left each morning to tend the fields, or to the task earning their place in the village. Each evening, before the sun set, they returned. One day in every eight was given over to rest…and the periodic feast day. At night only travellers were found on the paths and ways that connected villages and clan holds, but travellers were few.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Flash Friday: Excerpt

Gathering of Rain

A screech tore through the town of Farinwood. Rain surged up in his bed as the reverberations shivered over his skin. The echoes of his dream- a fair girl crying out her name, ‘Mitrill, my name is Mitrill’- caused momentary confusion, and then he knew where and when he was. Night in Farinwood.

Here it was a child on the hunt. And not alone.

And then, like crystal shattering in the ensuing dead silence, a woman sobbing as if her heart had been ripped from her body.

Aaru, how could the men on the streets be expected to stop this? One was father to that screeching child. One was husband to the woman trapped in hopeless grief.

Anger was then heat and resolve. Rain left his bed, snatched his cloak up for warmth and doused the smoking lamp on the small table under the window. A moment later he snapped his fingers for the tiny flame that danced upon his palm. A sorcerer’s trick. And, on this world that despised even a sunset as too much magic, a noose slung over a branch. He needed to be ever careful; vigilantism was alive and well on Valaris and continually on the prowl for magic-users, a mindset that would lead to confrontation. Infinity would win by default- men would kill each other while she laughed from the sidelines.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Purple Star

I’m sure you know the shiny shapes that populate gifts and occasions like confetti, among them stars. Tiny shapes that bling up the process of giving and receiving, and then go on to populate your floor and furniture in colourful points of light.
I’d like to tell you the tale of the purple star.
A friend gave me a gift on the occasion of my birthday last year and contained within were a host of tiny purple stars. Oceans now separate us, but that gift came along with me to Africa. When we first unpacked only the necessary while staying with family, lo, a tiny purple star fell out. When we subsequently moved into our own place, lo, a tiny purple star fell out again.
I’ve come to regard this shiny reminder of a gift as a nudge from a special friend. Every time I see it I think of her. It is akin to a piece of her soul now, a shiny guardian ever nearby. Shaune, thank you. I miss you, too.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Glittering Darkness

Glittering Darkness, volume V, is now available on Smashwords.

An ancient map, a strange prophecy...and anyone who speaks of it, dies. A new enemy enters the Valla arena, but this one is an ancient as time, and must be unleashed in a forbidden place. An ancient map points the way.
The terrible secret of the real source of Valla power is uncovered and as friends and family are murdered Torrullin stands forth and reveals the truth. There are Dragons in my future, he once tells Quilla of the Q’lin’la...and that future is now.

They are the Kallanon, the Glittering Darkness. Terror has a name.

The Celtic Tree Zodiac - Review

The Celtic Tree Zodiac

If you’re like me and salivate over things Celtic and druidic, then you will find this interesting. If, like me, you regard a tree as a sacred friend, then this is definitely not to be ignored. And if you investigate things astrological...well, what more can I say? This is an easy read- easy because Poppet did the hard work, the research, the collation and so forth, gifting us therefore the ability to swiftly follow- but it’s also intriguing and I have to tell you I learned something new. I now know which tree is my sign! And when I apply the personalities of people I know to Poppet’s corresponding explanation of their tree sign, I am amazed by how well it fits. Worth a read, definitely.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dusan by Poppet

Dusan: Dusan (pronounced Dooshun) awakes from long slumber to a world changed. As he grapples with the reality of our technological era, he also needs to rebuild his strength and appease an inner hunger...and to this end harvests the souls of innocents. He is an Angel of Death, but doesn’t see himself as one. Dusan believes he is an Angel of Mercy...until he meets Aine, a human with a heritage, who tells him unequivocally that stealing the souls of the innocent does not help humanity attain a state of peace. Mercy would be removing the souls of the perverted, criminal and evil, thus allowing humanity to go forward without their influences. Aine is definitely more than she seems.
I have read much of Poppet’s work now. I love how she describes places, situations and emotions- all of it relates back to how we view our world- and this one certainly follows her recipe. Dusan kicks off in France with Dusan hurtling off the Eiffel to land in traffic, where ‘burning clutch wafts’ over him. We are instantly in the real world...with a soul-snatcher. How intriguing is that, I ask? And then I had to laugh over Dusan’s later confusion about laptops- a device that never actually sits on a lap!
This is a tale about saving our civilisation from evil and to that end Poppet has employed the rich and enigmatic history of our gods and angels and the mysteries of religion. This tale has serious undertones indeed. And profound in the manner in which Poppet forces us to look at what we regard as religion with fresh eyes. But Dusan is also a love story and the dynamics between Aine and Dusan make for voracious reading. Therefore seriously sexy also...go on, lay a hold of a copy and you’ll see what I mean!
Dusan is a read for those who adore a tale with a decidedly supernatural edge, while still experiencing the familiar of life as we know it, and don’t mind the thrill of a romance with a decided edge. I would definitely recommend it...and right now Dusan heads to the top as my favoutite Poppet read.
Dusan is available here: and find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Elaina J Davidson
July 2011 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ancient Fire is now available for download

Ancient Fire

Valarians prepare for winter. Many died in summer, more will succumb to the cold. Only the heat of hope sustains them now. While waiting for the opportune time to strike, to finish what he started, Margus secretly begins a different kind of campaign: soul-snatching. He builds a new army of soltakin.

Torrullin meanwhile enters the forges of flame and betrayal in search of the means to put an end to Margus’ reign of terror. The man who emerges is reformed of fire to unleash annihilating heat.
Ancient Fire completes the forging of Torrullin Valla. His tale begins.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Around the corner from where I'm at is this: our very own ET rock, all decked out!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Religion, sex and politics: Religion

Religion, sex and politics: Religion

The mighty ‘they’ always tell us there are three things one should never discuss at a dinner table. Religion, sex and politics. This caveat, of course, can be extended to other occasions, including a virtual friendship ring. Why? Because the debate leads to argument- how often does everyone achieve the same viewpoint on any of these three subjects...right?

Talk about it! BUT PREPARE TO LISTEN AS WELL AS SPEAK. If we remove the fear factor from a controversial subject we open ourselves to new ideas and we learn to respect another’s view.
Let us here discuss religion. You may not agree with me, but if you listen you might nod your head and grant me certain points...and come back with a few of your own. We may never agree, but we will respect each other’s ideas.

There are the big ones: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism. Lesser ones such as Scientology and Shintoism. And then there are a host of smaller cultural beliefs spread across all continents, which includes Shamanism, Wicca etc.
Looking at it dispassionately, what do all of these generally have in common? Some believe in one God, others in the multiple, so it’s not that. Some have elaborate ritual, others are simplified, so it’s not that either. Some demand constant worship, others leave it up to the individual, so it cannot be that.

Answer (in my opinion): each teaches to live a wholesome life, to respect others, to know love as one’s driving force.
In my view this common factor should be celebrated. How can it matter how you worship, where or when or even to whom? Why go to war, when both sides believe in the same ideals, simply calling it by a different name? Why are we blinkered?

Speak and listen...and live and let live.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Talk to the wings

Ally stood before the Gates of Heaven and wondered if the man with the mighty wings would allow her to enter. Always they told her how she would amount to so little, not even God and his angels would want her.

The guard approached, seeing her hesitation. ‘Hello, Ally. What qualifies you to enter yonder gates?’
She hung her head. ‘Nothing.’

‘That’s not true. Have you not been a good person?’
Ally lifted her head. ‘I think so.’

‘Have you helped others unselfishly? Have you listened to those who needed to talk?’

‘And have you ever believed in yourself?’
‘Once,’ Ally whispered.

The guard smiled. ‘That would be the day you saved Jack from drowning, despite your fear of the sea. Belief and courage. Once is enough to change all, Ally. Even a moment is enough.’
‘But I’m nothing!’ Ally shouted. ‘I did not change the world, I did not stand out. I lived alone and left nothing behind!’

The guard smiled again. ‘Because of the belief that saved a life, you saved yours. You walked away from those who hurt you and became a friend to the world, Ally.’
Ally frowned. ‘Really?’

‘A hungry boy knocked on your door and was fed. A girl afraid of failing discovered her strength because you listened. A dog hurt lived because you took him to those who could help. Remember the tabby? You gave him a home. And the day your mother came to you and told you she was sorry, did you not forgive her? A soul does not have to be noticed and recognised by the many to qualify as a soul that achieved greatness. A moment of belief changes all, Ally.’ The guard offered his arm. ‘Come. Enter.’
Smiling, Ally took the proffered arm and entered into Heaven.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In the sky

A bit of tech and not so tech in the heavens above. A chopper ride is great, but meandering the skies with little more than a lawnmower and a parashute must be something special.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A little sunshine!

When you live near the sea with mountains all around, you're gifted with many photo-ops! This is a small selection of some wonderful sunsets. Enjoy!

Monday, May 23, 2011

OK - Allan Metcalf: Review by Brian Joss in the Bolander

OK/Allan Metcalf/Oxford University Press

Review: Brian Joss

 What do you think is the most frequently spoken or typed word? It’s the ubiquitous OK, and it has made its way across the world from America to Zimbabwe and points between.
It was even the first word spoken on the moon.
You can read all about it in this engrossing volume, subtitled. The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word, which started in 1839 as a weak joke in a newspaper article as an abbreviation for ‘oll korrect’.

Then it became the catchword for Martin Van Buren’s presidential campaign in 1840. Later it was picked up by telegraph operators and now it had firmly embedded itself wherever English is spoken and even where it isn't, and it is a standard icon on most computers.
Ubiquitous though it is, Ok or okay, wasn’t the right word to use in formal discourse in the 19th century. It was considered slang and you won’t find the word in inauguration addresses of the presidents of America. Not even George W Bush, who was known for a blooper or two. However, Barack Obama has used it, but only on informal occasions.

It doesn’t appear in scholarly journals, except in reports of conversations, Metcalf points out.
At one stage it was in danger of disappearing because it had sprouted so many meanings, but it was saved by a politician- General Andrew Jackson, who did make it to the White House- and another joke.

The creator of OK was Gerald Gordon Greene, the editor of the Morning Post in Boston, but it was left to another newspaper, the Providence Journal, to revive it a few years later.
The invention of OK has been attributed to various people including the New York millionaire Jacob Astor, who used OK to initial documents. Forget the invention of the telegraph. the TV, the telephone, electric lighting and the hula hoop, none has more influence than OK, writes Metcalf. OK had many nuances and inflexions; it doesn’t just mean ‘oll korrect’. It all depends on how you say it and in what context. Ok is the embodiment of down-to-earth pragmatism and OK is the voice of tolerance.

Metcalf has written a hugely entertaining and erudite book on two small letters of the alphabet which is as American as Coca Cola.

It is a fascinating book and remember: Ok rules, okay.

Monday, May 9, 2011

BITEMARKS by Drew Cross - Review

BITEMARKS by Drew Cross
This is how Bitemarks begins: ‘I am haunted by the ghosts of childhood memories, by the cruel promise of eternal sunshine and an innocence which should have endured, that died in increments and took my two friends with it.’
Now I ask you, reader, are you not immediately intrigued? I was, and delved in!
This is a crime thriller...with a twist. A cop with a vampire fetish, his partner a gay black man, his  smart dog Ghost, a vampire on the loose tearing prostitutes apart...and stir into the mix a sexual relationship and flashbacks to a strange past- you have a darn good read here.
The juxtaposition of daily grind, the reality of the meanness of the streets, set against the surreal landscapes of a lonely soul, the latter described in pure literary fashion, and one wonders who the real Drew Cross is. A crime writer? Or a poet?  I am amazed by his style and intrigued by his ability to structure tension and the great guessing game inherent in every crime thriller.
I found Bitemarks initially confusing (as we head-hopped and needed to discover Mr Cross’ style), but only initially! Once you ‘feel’ the tale, you are transported. A definite recommend! Enjoy! 
Elaina J Davidson
May 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

To all moms and grandmoms and moms-to-be: Have a great day! Know you are appreciated and loved! xx

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

20 Classic Novels You Can Read in One Sitting - DailyWritingTips

Reposted from Daily Writing Tips:

You know that in order to become a better writer, you need to become a better reader — and so polishing off some classic novels is in your future. But who has the time?

You do. Nobody’s admonishing you to get your book report in within two weeks. But if you still feel pinched between the hour hand and the minute hand, ease into great English literature with these short novels (most have fewer than 200 pages):

1. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

Spectral visitors take miserly businessman Ebenezer Scrooge on a tour of the past, present, and future to prompt his reevaluation of the wisdom of his skinflint ways in this Victorian fantasy that helped usher in the nostalgia-drenched Christmas tradition. To this day, innumerable stage adaptations knock elbows with ballet productions of The Nutracker Suite and singing of Handel’s Messiah. Dickens’s Hard Times is another relatively quick read.

2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

The intrepid young hero, a half-feral but good-hearted boy, flees the deadly embrace of civilization, takes up with a freed slave and a couple of con men, and, with the assistance of one Samuel Langhorne Clemens, makes a library’s worth of observations about the human condition in one thin volume — a triumphant survivor of censorship and political correctness. (The n-word pervades it — quick, hide the children’s eyes and make reality go away!) See also The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which this book is a sequel to, and Pudd’nhead Wilson.

3. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

A young girl wanders into the woods and falls down a rabbit hole into a disconcertingly absurd hidden world in Oxford mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s satirical romp, laced with contemporary caricatures and poking at problems of mathematical logic. Like many great works of art, it was a critical failure but a popular success — and, in the long term, the critics have come around. See also the sequel Through the Looking-Glass.

4. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

A modern fable by the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four relates what happens when communism comes to Manor Farm: “All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.” Orwell (birth name Eric Blair), a proponent of democratic socialism — by definition, the antithesis of Stalinism — wrote the story in response to his disillusioning experiences during the Spanish Civil War, when totalitarianism cast a shadow over socialist ideals. British publishers concerned about the manuscript’s frank condemnation of the United Kingdom’s World War II ally the Soviet Union rejected it, but you can’t suppress the truth down for long.

5. Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne

Fastidious Victorian gentleman Phileas Fogg makes a foolhardy wager at his club: He will circumnavigate the planet in eighty days. With resourceful French valet Passepartout by his side and a Scotland Yard detective — who mistakes him for a fugitive from justice — on his heels, he sets out with his fortune, his freedom, and, most importantly, his honor on the line. These and other novels by Verne have, from the beginning, fired the imaginations of readers from all over the world, though poor early English translations led to them being long mischaracterized as juvenile pulp fiction.

6. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

After an introduction to a horrifyingly regimented future “utopia,” readers meet John, a young man who has grown up in an isolated, unenlightened community before being brought back to civilization, which, shall we say, does not match his expectations. Huxley’s novel, one of the most celebrated in twentieth-century literature — and also impressively high on the lists of books targeted for censorship — depicts a future in which hedonism, not repression, is the greatest threat to humanity.

7. Candide, by Voltaire

Everybody’s favorite scathingly funny French philosopher introduces a young man raised in indoctrinated, isolated innocence who is repeatedly blindsided by reality when he becomes a citizen of the world. Anticipating the antipathy with which secular and religious authorities would condemn his work, Voltaire published it under a pseudonym, but everybody knew who had done the deed. Candide was widely banned, even in the United States into the twentieth century — high praise, indeed.

8. Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck

A run-down street in seaside Monterey, California, is as colorful a character as any of the people who populate it in this sweet Depression-era story about a community of the world’s cast-offs. This semiautobiographical novel, a warm wash of nostalgia, also serves as a requiem for a lost world the author could never find again. Steinbeck often kept it short and bittersweet: Look also for The Moon Is Down, Of Mice and Men, The Pearl, The Red Pony, and Tortilla Flat.

9. The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger

Reading this mid-20th-century anthem of adolescent angst remains a rite of passage for high school literature students, who get a thrill out of reading one of the most frequently banned books of all time. The narrator’s sour sensibilities and his frank assessment of the world’s crapitude captivate many young readers, although the author (who exacerbated the allure of the book through his notorious reclusiveness) intended the book for an adult audience. Salinger’s other works include novellas and short stories, including Franny and Zooey, Nine Stories, and the twofer Raise High the Roofbeam Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction.

10. Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

This flashback novel immerses the reader in the tragedy of a romantic triangle, as the title character agonizes over his affection for his sickly wife’s cousin, who has come to live with them and help around the house. Warning: Things don’t end well. The critical reception to Wharton’s work was mixed, but those who praised it recognized it as a compelling morality tale (though based on a real incident and thought to allude to the author’s own unhappy marriage).

11. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

In a dystopian future where firefighters ignite inflammatory books (that is, all of them) rather than suppress conflagrations, one member of the book-burning brigade, increasingly alienated in his decadent society, is lured to the light side. Bradbury initially denied that the theme of the story is censorship, fingering the boob tube for libracide instead, but he later graciously realized he could have it both ways.

12. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

A scientist conceives the idea of creating a man constructed from body parts and bringing him to life but is disgusted by his creation, which, devastated by the scientist’s and others’ rejection as it struggles to learn what it means to be human, exacts vengeance. The novel, written by the daughter of philosophers who began working on it when she was still in her teens, initially received mixed reviews, but its stature has steadily grown, aided by its wealth of classical allusions and Enlightenment inspirations, not to mention its profound psychological resonance.

13. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A young man gets caught up in the world of wealth during the Roaring Twenties, especially that revolving around the enigmatic millionaire Jay Gatsby, but he discovers how superficial and hollow the American dream is after observing the petty passions of the rich. Fitzgerald’s novel was well received but did not fare as well as his earlier works, and when he died in relative obscurity years later, he believed himself a failure. During and after World War II, however, The Great Gatsby experienced a resurgence, and it is now accounted one of the great American novels.

14. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

A riverboat captain in the Belgian Congo, looking forward to meeting Kurtz, the manager of an isolated upriver colonial station, is devastated when the man he meets turns out to be quite different from the imagined ideal. Conrad’s story, overshadowed by Francis Ford Coppola’s loose film adaptation, the antiwar epic Apocalypse Now, should be read on its own merits. Though much praised for its psychological insight, is also considered one of the most potent criticisms of colonialism in literature.

15. Night, by Elie Wiesel

The author’s harrowing account of his early adolescence spent in Nazi concentration camps — during which his father, with whom he was incarcerated, gradually becomes helpless, and young Elie rejects God and humanity — is full of raw, stark power. Its critical reception was complicated by various factors: It is a memoir that contains a great deal of fiction, and it was published in quite different forms in Yiddish, then a pared-down French translation, from which a further abridged English version was derived. But that form at least is widely acknowledged as great art.

16. The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

A beautiful young hedonist sells his soul for the price of agelessness, while a portrait of him painted by an admirer marks his physical dissipation. Wilde’s first novel was attacked for its homoeroticism and the scandalously frank depiction of debauchery but was received more favorably when the author toned down the former. Rich with allusions to, among other works, Faust, The Picture of Dorian Gray stands on its own as a tragic morality tale.

17. The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane

A young Civil War soldier overcomes his initial cowardice, but, despite the fact that he acts heroically in a later battle, his humanity is diminished. Crane, who finished the novel when he was only twenty-four (he would die just five years later after a series of debilitating lung hemorrhages), was celebrated for its authentic detail about the conduct of war, though he had never experienced it himself. It was also hailed as a triumph of both naturalism and impressionism, as it realistically portrays the ordeal of battle while achieving allegorical stature.

18. The Sorrows of Young Werther, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Written primarily in the form of a series of letters, this semiautobiographical story relates the tragedy of a young man who falls in love with a woman already betrothed to another. Although it made Goethe’s reputation at a young age, it also precipitated “Werther Fever,” prompting a fad of overwrought young people lamenting the vicissitudes of unrequited love, and Goethe later disavowed it and decried the Romantic literary movement it epitomized.

19. The Stranger, by Albert Camus

This existentialist classic chronicles the nihilistic life of an apathetic man who aimlessly commits murder and, once incarcerated, renounces humanity, which he has passively estranged himself from. Camus’s portrait of a man without a soul was a manifesto of his belief that life is bereft of meaning, and that the efforts of humans to find meaning are futile.

20. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

This complex melodrama about the compounded consequences of acting on selfish and vengeful motives has been overshadowed by Hollywood’s treatment of the thwarted love between a young woman named Catherine and her untamed foster brother, Heathcliff. But the story boasts an unflinching honesty about its deeply flawed protagonists, and though critical response to its publication was mixed, it has lived on as an expression of star-crossed ill fortune.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review: MARIE: An Inspector Monde Tale of Strange and Terrible Adventures


An Inspector Monde Tale of Strange and Terrible Adventures

By John Booth

Brilliant! A short story set in Paris, starring the unflappable Inspector Monde, a case of strange ‘suicides’, a missing girl, a seedy bar...and the darkness of the river.

Told with dry precision and underlying quirkiness, John Booth swiftly draws the reader into the underbelly of Paris and keeps you enthralled to the last word.

Definitely worth reading, and I hope John Booth collects all the Inspector’s Strange and Terrible Adventures into one soon!

Elaina J Davidson
April 2011